Seventy illegal miners to appear in court

Three of the seventy illegal miners retrieved from underground in Welkom. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Seventy illegal miners to appear at the Welkom Magistrate Court on Monday, on charges of attempted theft of gold bearing material, trespass and immigration.

This follows a tip off from the Eland shaft mine security, after they informed the Welkom police that the seventy illegal miners were coming out from underground.

Police spokesperson, Stephen Thakeng, says on their arrival at the scene, 70 illegal miners were arrested with the assistance of the mine security and they were apparently running away from methane underground.

“We can confirm that we arrested 70 illegal miners at the Eland Shaft mine of Harmony in Welkom. The illegal miners are from Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. All the suspects will be appearing at the Welkom Magistrate Court on Monday,” he says.

He says illegal mining remains a concern and the arrest is regarded as a breakthrough, as these illegal miners will face the law.

Meanwhile, Thakeng also adds that there were illegal miners who were recently retrieved from underground and were already dead, in Bambanani mine in Welkom. He says mostly the illegal miners are from Thaba- Tseka in Lesotho and the next-of-kin will be coming from Lesotho to identify their deceased.